There aren't any vacancies on the Supreme Court right now, but that hasn't stopped Democrats from sending hints to President Biden about whom he should consider if an opening does pop up soon, which appears to be a possibility given that there's a sense 82-year-old Justice Stephen Breyer may retire in the near future. Biden has pledged to nominate the first Black woman to the high court, and people like Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.), who played a significant role in getting Biden to the White House, hope the president sticks to that promise, but they also want him to look beyond only racial diversity in his potential search, The New York Times reports.
"One of the things we have to be very, very careful of as Democrats is being painted with that elitist brush," Clyburn told the Times. "When people talk diversity they are always looking at race and ethnicity — I look beyond that to diversity of experience."
Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) offered similar thoughts. "This isn't being critical of the Harvards or the Yales, but I think there's some great attorneys out there that are really, really smart that come from other places on this earth," he said, alluding to the fact that eight of the nine current justices (save for the newest addition Justice Amy Coney Barrett) have Ivy League degrees. "And I think we ought to consider them."
Subscribe to The Week
Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.
Clyburn has reportedly floated District Court Judge J. Michelle Childs as a future justice. Childs, who became the first Black woman to make partner at one of South Carolina's major law firms, has an academic background that includes an undergraduate scholarship to the University of South Florida and a law degree from the University of South Carolina. Read more at The New York Times.
Continue reading for free
We hope you're enjoying The Week's refreshingly open-minded journalism.
Subscribed to The Week? Register your account with the same email as your subscription.